Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tell Us a Story

Maybe it's because I majored in English.  Maybe it's because I'm studying journalism and am naturally inclined to ask "why" a little more often.  Maybe it's because when I was a kid I was picking out the plot holes of Goosebumps books (not that that's particularly difficult).  Whatever it is, I'm inclined to care about a story, and that carried over into video games.

That's not to say I need a story to play a game.  I sure as hell didn't need one to get into games like Tetris, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater or Rock Band.  Hell, I've liked games with god awful stories such as Sin and Punishment, Apocalypse, and some of the Resident Evil games.

Despite the ENTIRE CITY being infested with zombies, they didn't show up 
and/or I didn't notice them until it was most dramatically convenient!  AAAAAH!

And so, when I posted the first part of the Bloody Roar Retrospective, I anticipated that some people might think it a little too much to delve into the story, despite the Bloody Roar series being more story-centric than most other fighters, especially in the first couple titles.  In particular, one response I got simply said:

"... I've never even come remotely close to caring about a fighting game for the story."

Yes, this was from AkewsticRockR, and no, I don't love or hate the guy.

I'm as neutral as this photo.

 Here's the thing, though, which I'll admit I didn't quite express as well as I could have.  I didn't care about the game for the story.  I cared about the story in the game.  That's something I have done, and will continue to do, for every game I pick up because, in my opinion, giving a game a pass on something based on its genre is utterly retarded.  

I'm not saying every game should have a story, (as referenced earlier, I do enjoy storyless games) but if you're going to put a story in your game, do everyone a favor. 


If humans are animals, then... no.  Just no.

 If your story is a half-assed piece of crap that makes the average fan fiction look more competent, you should be called out on it.  The story, regardless of a game's genre, is still part of the game and should be judged as such.  Obviously it's not the be-all end-all of any game, which is still gameplay.  I've encountered this in the past when I questioned Tekken fans about the more stupid points of the series' incredibly stupid storylines and the response was either a blank stare or an admission that they never really paid attention to it.

That's fine.  They like Tekken for its gameplay.  I won't begin to go into what it says about a game's fans that they don't know what the hell is going on in it, partially because that could be the developers' faults and not theirs.


I guess the bottom line is this.  If you don't have a story, great.  If you have a story, great.  If you have a good story, that's even better.

If you have a bad story, you shouldn't be excused from it.